Desire as Cosmic Pulse

It is never clear toward what we are led, but it is undoubted that what leads us is desire!

Pseudo-Dionysius says we are led to God (although it is worth understanding that what this great master of negative theology means by God is THE question of this questioning itself) by desire.  However, he claims we have lost sight of God and been taken-in instead by the creatures of creation.  Pseudo-Dionysius’ cure for the fragmentation of desire is the liturgy of the Church as ‘Theurgy’ –  theology is merely logos, a “discourse about the gods,” and however exalted it is only a human activity, as is philosophy. Theurgy, on the other hand, was a theion ergon, a “work of the gods” capable of transforming man to a divine status – to take part in theurgical acts is to actually be brought toward God by practice, not just intellectually.

Now, this is very well for the Christians amongst us, but it is (perhaps) meaningless for those of us who have never been able to call ourselves Christian. But ‘Theurgy’ does suggest that there are ways of being that are open to us through certain practices that are not open to us merely by intellectual pursuits. Therefore there is, for all of us uncalled by any religion – but yet becoming conscious of a call that arises out of the recognition that our fragmented desires no longer seem to bring pleasure but pain – a simple practice of defragmentation that brings us back to our originary way: meditation.

I recognise the anachronism of reaching back into the history of Philosophy/Religion in the West to be able to express what might seem an eastern practice but this small-world reveals as never before that human beings while everywhere different are always the same. The non-difference of Theurgy and Zazen (zen meditation which requires nothing other than concentrated mindfulness; no liturgy, no mantra, no belief, no theology…) which both, through practice, bring us back to our ‘true-selves’, to our highest way of being, reveals the way to our highest calling.

We yearn, we want – to be means to want – while love binds the cosmos desire is its dynamic pulse. By focussing desire through meditation we begin to unfold love’s purpose.


About Jamie Nicol

Living in the forested hills of Catalonia, overlooking the Mediterranean Sea. Zen teacher, recovering philosopher, small-scale natural farmer. Writing just what comes.
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